5 Curious Facts About 2015

Good riddance, 2014. You sucked. Nobody liked you. 2015 is my new best friend, so pack your bags and go stay at a hotel or something. In fact, here’s some of the cool stuff 2015 and I will be doing while you’re gone.

We’ll See the First Advertisement on the Moon

Rejoice, everyone. In 2015 we may very well see the first commercial product advertised on the Moon. No, I’m not talking about a billboard or anything like that. I’m talking about Otsuka’s Pocari Sweat powder. If you’re not familiar (I’m not, either), Pocari Sweat is a non-carbonated soft/sports drink from Japan.

Otsuka, the makers of the drink, intend to put a powdered form of the beverage, contained in a specially-designed canister, on the Moon. It’ll arrive via a SpaceX Falcon 9 in October.

According to The Verge, “Otsuka says it hopes that the stunt will inspire young people to become astronauts, so they can travel the 380,000 kilometers (236,121 miles) to our closest celestial neighbor, crack open the can, and consume the powder inside.” Just imagine, this could be yours some day:

We’ll Get Some 300 gb Archival Discs

I still listen to cassette tapes. No, I’m not a hipster. Truth is, my car’s CD player is busted, I’m lazy, and there’s also a tape deck. Whatever.

Then again, I’ll admit I have a certain nostalgia for old technology. Back when everything was slow and clunky and beige. Easier to fix, I’ll tell you that much. Sound goes out on your Atari? Pop out one of those giant capacitors and throw in a new one. GPU melts on your launch day Xbox 360? I don’t care how many towels you wrap around it, that thing is toast.

Anyway. First we had CDs, then DVDs, now Blu-rays. The future of consumer media is probably all digital, but for professional archiving purposes, Sony and Panasonic are set to release the first of their ‘Archival Disc’ storage this Summer. These optical discs, which will be the same physical size of a Blu-ray, will initially hold 300 GB of data, but later will be upgraded to 500 GB and eventually 1 TB. In comparison, current Blu-ray discs can hold up to 50 GB.

We’ll Watch New Horizons and Dawn Reach their Destinations…

Lunar and Planetary Institute via CC by 2.0
Lunar and Planetary Institute via CC by 2.0

Aboard the New Horizons space probe sits the lonely ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930. Because that’s where the probe is heading: Pluto. Launched in January 2006, New Horizons will reach the dwarf planet in July to unravel its mysteries.

Meanwhile, the Dawn space probe, launched in 2007, will arrive at the dwarf planet Ceres in March. According to Universe Today, between Dawn and New Horizons, “2015 is likely to become a pivotal year in the debate over the classification of non-stellar objects throughout the universe.”

…While Everybody Else Tries to Land Rovers on the Moon

Now I’m a bit fuzzy on the timeline of all this, but the Google Lunar XPRIZE has a number of competitors all vying to land a rover on the surface of the moon within the next couple years. Will any of this happen in 2015? I’m not sure.

The Barcelona Moon Team is (was?) scheduled to launch their GXLP mission in June. Astrobotic Technology plans to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 in October (with, uh, that aforementioned can of Pocari Sweat powder in tow, actually). In all, there are 18 teams entered into the competition.

There’s also a Chinese mission — the Chang’e 4 rover — that appeared to have a scheduled launch for this year, but it’s unclear whether or not this will actually happen. China successfully launched and soft-landed the Chang’e 3 rover in December 2013.

We’ll Grab Some Popcorn Right Before CERN Blows Up the Universe

This could be it, folks. After a two-year break, CERN plans to reboot the Large Hadron Collider in March, possibly reaching the unprecedented power of about 13 teraelectron volts.

What will this mean? A further lifting of the veil that reveals the mysteries of the cosmos. Perhaps we’ll discover the particles responsible for dark matter, or even different kinds of Higgs bosons. Or maybe, just maybe, we’ll open a star gate that will usher in a new doomsday.

But those are just a handful of things that will happen in 2015. Just imagine all the things we don’t even know will happen…


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.